Extended reading: none – you’re doing great!
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
The disciples were at table with Jesus when Jesus made his startling announcement. Not surprisingly, they were very sad to hear one of them would betray Jesus. Yet each one of them wondered if he might be the one. “Surely you don’t mean me?”
The rest of the disciples had no idea Judas Iscariot had been plotting with the chief priests, or that he had been given thirty pieces of silver in advance of Jesus’ arrest. Each of them wondered whether he might be the betrayer. Jesus knew them better than they knew themselves.
I, as much as anyone else, am prone to think that because I have attended then joined my church, I will never betray Jesus. Simply professing my faith does not mean that I will never deny Jesus. I still am far from the example that Christ set for us. There are things I say and do daily, not on purpose, I hope, but just because I am human, that I need to work on continually.
Being a believer does not protect us from this kind of action; it just means we should realize what we have done and ask forgiveness. God will once again start us out with a clean slate as God leads us closer and closer to being the kind of Christian God wants. If the disciples who studied and traveled every day with Jesus could still sin, and deny Jesus, I should realize that it is part of the human condition.
Dear God, do not give up on me; continue to guide me in my daily struggles. Forgive me when I turn from good, or slide into making wrong choices. Little missteps can lead to bigger detours away from what is right. Hold me close, Lord. Help me be honest about times I have gone astray, and cultivate in me compassion for others who have made bad mistakes they regret later. I will ask for forgiveness for my actions and inactions that dishonor you, and seek each day to be a better Christian. Amen